Unlocking Potential with Julie Elion

May 9, 2018

Julie Elion has been my mentor for the past 10 years. Along the way she has provided me insight, advice, and she always seems to know when to ask the right question. I owe much of my career to Julie.

Julie has developed one of the premier sport psychology practices in the professional golf world. She is currently working with multiple players on the PGA Tour, including winners of multiple major tournaments and regular tour events totaling over 60 wins and five majors. She worked with the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team in their victory at Valhalla Golf Club, as well as with four members of the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup and four members of the 2011 U.S. Presidents Cup teams. She has a broad focus on competitive golf and counsels golfers at multiple levels of competition including the Nationwide and Champions tour for men, the LPGA and LET for women, and Division I Collegiate Golf.

As well as working extensively with golfers, Julie also provides mental coaching for athletes and teams of other sports on both the professional and collegiate level, including the Washington Wizards (NBA), the Washington Redskins (NFL), the Washington Mystics (WNBA), and the University of Maryland Men’s Basketball team.

Julie founded the Center for Athletic Performance Enhancement in 1998. Her philosophy is based upon helping an individual gain insight into their sport, character, family, and relationships and then use these insights to become a resilient athlete and a more fulfilled person. Julie integrates classical sport psychology tools (e.g., pre-shot routines, course management, and visualization) that are focused on behavioral and cognitive cues, with a deeper appreciation and understanding of oneself. Julie helps to prepare her players for success by focusing on believing in themselves first as a person, and second as an athlete.

In this episode we discuss her surprising path to the field of Sport Psychology, her work with world-class golfers, setting process expectations, the difference between working with individual sports versus team sports, and much more.

Thanks to Julie for coming on the podcast.

You can learn more about her work at www.capeperformance.com. You can also check out her rockstar daughter and her band at http://www.overcoatsmusic.com/.

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks,

Brian

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Editing Story with George Solomon

May 2, 2018

Former Washington Post assistant managing editor George Solomon joins Brian Levenson to discuss the challenges of editing. During his tenure, he got to work with sports journalism legends including Michael Wilbon  Tony Korhnheiser, and Sally Jenkins. George also served as the 1st ombudsman for ESPN. He now works at the University of Maryland as a sports journalism professor and was inducted into the Washington Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

In this episode they discuss how he developed an interest in journalism as a kid (5:15), how important feedback from others and reading can be to improving writing skills and hiring the right people (14:00), how technology has made the newspaper industry more about surviving than content (24:45), what the role of a good editor is (26:20), the difference between a reporter and a columnist and what it was like editing for some of the best columnists in the business (30:30), what makes Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon special and how it helped them transition to radio and TV (37:30), the importance of having elite female voices like Sally Jenkins and Christine Brennan in the newsroom (41:20), what he enjoys about teaching and lessons for students (43:35), and finally they talk about how he is able to keep his memory so sharp and how curiosity helps make a great story (53:05).

Thanks to George Solomon for coming on and make sure to learn more about Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks for listening.

--Brian

 

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Preparing, Probing, and Proposing with Ron Shapiro

April 25, 2018

Sports Agent and expert negotiator Ron Shapiro joined Brian Levenson to talk about how he got into the industry. He has had quite a journey as an author, attorney (after attending Harvard Law school) and he became Maryland State Securities Commissioner in his late 20's. He has worked as a consultant with NBA teams including the Spurs, Nets, and Thunder and an agent for stars such as Cal Ripken and Kirby Puckett and is also an advisor to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens.

In this episode they discuss how his family inspired him in his youth and the power of optimism (7:15), his path to Harvard Law and how learning to write there was key to unlocking his future (12:45), the value of being able to connect with people and how he overcomes fear in public speaking (17:40), why he decided to work in Baltimore after finishing law school to help desegregation and how he positioned himself into what he calls an "accidental career" (22:50), why empathy, compassion, preparation, and humility are essential to negotiation and how people are mainly a product of circumstance (33:15), the development of having confidence in negotiations and athletics when it’s time to perform (39:10), what made Cal Ripken Jr. special (42:50), the importance of experience and understanding precedents in his field (47:30), the transition from securities to sports (51:35), how one can be self-serving in a way that still helps others (57:15), and the values it takes for someone to run a sports organization (1:00:10). Finally, he discusses his regimented and intentional daily routine (1:03:25).

Thanks to Ron Shapiro for coming on and make sure to follow him on Twitter. You can also purchase his book The Power of Nice, How to Negotiate so Everyone Wins-Especially You!.

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks for listening.

--Brian

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Coaching Camps with Mano Watsa

April 18, 2018

Mano Watsa, presently serves as the President of PGC Basketball. He joins Brian Levenson to discuss coaching and PGC basketball. If you don’t know about PGC, they provide intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Their basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to think the game and to be leaders on and off the court. They have served thousands of basketball players and coaches all over the country. He was selected as a two-time All-Canadian and earned Academic All-Canadian honors at the University of Waterloo.

In this episode they discuss the beginnings of his basketball journey at age 10 and how invaluable his grade school coach was to his growth (6:00), what the driving factors were to reach his goals in high school and maximize his potential by starting a basketball camp at 15 (14:30), his time at PGC and how what he learned there about leadership inspired him and changed his mindset on coaching and teaching (22:00), the evolution of the point guard position and how to make teamwork an asset to the team (28:00), his journey at the University of Waterloo and his decision afterwards to start his own point guard program which turned into a merge with PGC (34:30), the difference in working with coaches versus working with players and how to become a transformational coach (39:00). Finally, he describes his morning routine and how important habits are (43:00).

You can follow Mano on twitter: @ManoWatsa and check out PGC Basketball at www.pgcbasketball.com

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

--Brian

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Advocating for the Dream with Tolu Olubunmi

April 11, 2018

Respected immigrants’ activist Tolu Olubunmi joins Brian Levenson to discuss her unexpected journey searching for the American Dream, which started as an unemployed and undocumented chemical engineer. Her innovative thinking and desire for change have led to her becoming the founder and CEO of Lion’s Write which gives voices to the voiceless. Additionally, she was named one of 15 Women Changing the World in 2015 by the World Economic Forum and has given speeches at NYU, the World Bank, and the White House as she advocates for equality.

In this episode they discuss how she got interested in words and how it has helped her express herself effectively and how writing can help her keep what is going on in her brain in order (5:30), the value of religion in her life and how it isn’t related to what she was taught as a child (10:00), her sheltered childhood growing up as the youngest of 5 children in Nigeria and how important family is to her (13:30), the excitement and difficulties of moving to the United States at 14 to live with her siblings (24:30), why her curiosity helped her decide that she wanted to become an engineer at 8 and how that curiosity assists immigrants to thrive(29:00), the experience that led to her going to a smaller college than expected and why she embraces the challenge of chemistry rather than eschewing it (37:45), figuring out how to deal with the devastating problem of losing her immigration status and the process of advocating to change the law (48:00), learning what makes leaders in immigration advocacy so special and what she believes the future holds for her (56:00). Finally, she talks about what courage is for different people and what current advocacy discussions she finds important (1:03:00).

Thanks to Tolu Olubunmi for coming on, and make sure to visit her website. You can also follow her on Twitter: @Tolu_Olubunmi

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks for listening.

--Brian

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Story Telling with Cal Fussman

April 4, 2018

Interviewer extraordinaire Cal Fussman joins Brian Levenson to talk about how essential curiosity is in the realm of interviewing. Cal has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world ranging from Kobe Bryant to Al Pacino to Dr. Oz. He is also a best selling author and not surprisingly the host of a very popular Podcast called Big Questions.

In this free flowing episode they discuss how Brian should introduce himself and the power of motivation and inspiration (5:30), why he loves Podcasts (16:30), the use of opening interview questions to get a better sense of a person (22:30), how asking someone a question can open you up to something unexpected and what constitutes a hero (29:00), why getting out of your comfort zone and getting back up after being knocked down are essential for success (37:30), what drew him to writing about sports at a young age (41:00), Kobe’s interest in storytelling and how storytelling has changed as technology has evolved (51:00), how his constant curiosity led to him leaving a job and the love of looking for the next adventure (59:30), and the exhilaration of the unknown while traveling and how it taught him to interview (1:06:30). Finally Cal explains how family taught him to mix routine with his yearning for new experiences (1:17:00).

Thanks to Cal Fussman for coming on, and make sure to listen to his Podcast . You can also follow him on Twitter: @calfussman

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks for listening.

--Brian

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Dr. Michael Gervais on Finding Sport Psychology

March 28, 2018

High Performance Psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais joins Brian Levenson on this weeks podcast. Dr. Gervais is the co-founder of the company Compete to Create with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and has worked with the Seahawks, NBA players, and Microsoft. He is a renowned public speaker with a deep understanding of how to find clarity and thrive under pressure.

In this episode they discuss his introduction into sport psychology as a kid through surfing (4:30), the way he is able to visualize a path to a goal and find a way to best articulate his thoughts (12:00), his first memory of surfing and how the unknown of it changed his mindset (18:00), the idea of the tip of the arrow and how it relates to neuroticism and narcissism as part of becoming a professional athlete (26:00), the difference between being goodness and greatness as character traits and the possible darkness of greatness (34:30), the value of teaching without giving advice, the importance of self-trust and mental skills that can help people (38:00), the psychological framework of interpretation and time management (47:00), whether or not it is necessary to go through adversity or suffering and what success is (55:00), and how he primes his mind on a daily basis (1:04:00). Finally, he talks about how he feels about his overall journey to get to where he is at this point in his life (1:08:00).

Thanks to Dr. Gervais for coming on, and I encourage you to listen to his great Podcast as well. You can also follow him on Twitter: @MichaelGervais or Instagram: @findingmastery

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks for listening.

--Brian

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Paul Rabil on Developing Mindset

March 21, 2018

One of the most recognizable and successful lacrosse players and former MVP Paul Rabil joins Brian Levenson to discuss his time as a lacrosse player. Additionally, Paul is a great marketer through social media, which he has leveraged to enhance his brand. Paul is also very open about his work with a Sport Psychologist and remains fascinated by the psychology of performance. 

In this episode, they discuss his work with sport psychology (4:00). What triggered his competitive nature and the importance of loyalty (9:00). How playing a variety of other sports as a kid helped him develop his mindset (18:00). What drew him to lacrosse (27:30). The things that go on in his mind when he’s on the field and his rigorous preparation for games (38:00). Why focusing on perfection is not ideal (43:00). The value he places on visualization, meditation, and journaling (50:45). Understanding time management and trying to find 10 minutes to read every day despite learning differences (57:00) Why he believes it is so important to use social media and how he takes advantage of the various platforms (1:02:45). The full development of what got him interested in sport psychology and it’s importance in all facets of life (1:07:00). Where he sees himself in the future (1:14:00).

Thanks to Paul for coming on, you can listen to his excellent podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter: @PaulRabil and on his youtube channel: www.youtube.com/PaulRabil

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks for listening.

--Brian

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Mario Romero on Finding a Way

March 14, 2018

Mario Romero joins Brian Levenson to share his thoughts and inspirations from humble beginnings leading to the process of him becoming a Navy SEAL and now his time as attempting to become an astronaut as he finishes graduate school at Columbia University. He shares wisdom from his past and how he is able to think against the grain to achieve his goals.

The conversation touches on his difficult childhood raised by his mother and feeling like an outcast as a Jehovah’s Witness (4:00). His current views on religion, faith, and spirituality (12:00). The vision of becoming a Navy SEAL he developed at a young age and the constant desire to challenge himself in high school(16:00). The value of putting himself out there even when failure was likely and choosing sports that build mental toughness (25:30). How 9/11 reaffirmed his desire to become a Navy SEAL and how he wouldn’t let any obstacles keep him from his goal (35:00). Methods he uses to not be distracted (51:00). How he prepared and dealt with others doubting him during his time as a Navy SEAL (55:30). What it’s like serving as a SEAL and how proud he is of his time there (1:09:00). Dealing with having to conform (1:18:30). The difficulties of dealing with PTSD upon returning to being a civilian (1:22:00). His decision to go to graduate school in mathematic and conquer the mindset that he couldn’t be good at math (1:28:45). What he plans to do in the future (1:41:00).

Thanks to Mario for coming on. He's a great instagram follow @Marioromero186

so make sure to check him out there.

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon.

Thanks for listening.

--Brian

 

 

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Sean Pendergast on Changing Course

March 7, 2018

Houston sports radio host and freelance writer Sean Pendergast joins Brian Levenson to discuss his journey starting in sales before becoming a radio host (4:45), the value of money in relationship to happiness and the serendipitous moment that led to working in sports radio (12:00), and advice for college students on choosing a career (27:00). Then they talk about his transition to sports radio and the value of enthusiasm in the workplace (37:30), the importance his time in sales has had in his success in radio (52:00), how has mindset changed for maximizing the impact of the show after the 1st couple of years and why he started writing (1:01:30), and learning to develop a better feel of how to prepare and still be able to adapt on the fly (1:09:30). Then Sean describes the best interview he ever did with the man who shot Osama Bin Laden: Rob O’Neill (1:17:00). Finally, he discusses how he prepares before going on the air (1:25:00).

Thanks to Sean for coming on the podcast. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter: @SeanTPendergast.

Also, please check out our patreon page and support if you are able: https://www.patreon.com/IntentionalPerformers

Thanks!

Brian Levenson

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